Formation of the Social Justice Committee

February 2nd, 2018

The Board of Missions and Outreach (BOMO)
announces the formation of the Social Justice

To augment the work of BOMO, the Social Justice Committee (Committee) will work to Address the root causes of social or environmental inequities through education and advocacy in a respectful and peaceful manner (Mission).

Participants will study issues, share information and educate, advocate for and serve as a catalyst for change. Some work would be only Congregational Church of Topsfield members, while other work would interface with non-CCOT organizations, and the Committee may serve as a link, to or facilitate activities with non-CCOT people.

We envision a flexible pool of participants, based on issues you are passionate about. A list of issues that people have expressed interest in pursuing are Homelessness, Immigration, Climate Change, Gun Safety, Wealth Inequality, the Opioid Crisis, and Mental Health.

The Committee will strive to create a safe space for dialogue, and our actions will be:

Non violent, Prayerful, and Faith-guided.

If you would like to participate or are interested in learning more, please email Tom Warren (chair), or Jim Barnes (BOMO chair). We will be contacting people who express an interest to coordinate a date for an initial meeting soon.
Tom:; Jim:

February Birthday listing

January 30th, 2018

Laura Stover,   02/02

Cheryl Davis,   02/03

Doug Wills,   02/04

Dave Read,   02/06

Tom Spater,   02/07

Anne Clifton-Stoops,   02/12

Paul Worth,   02/15

Eli Redding,   02/19

Ellie Losee,   02/21

Matthew Mudgett,   02/21

Charise Nulsen,   02/21

Sallie Bowling,   02/23

Jeffrey Nulsen,   02/27

Carole Hoover,   02/28


January Birthday Listing

January 22nd, 2018

Jonathan Wheeler: 01/05
Sarah Szymanski: 01/06
Evelyn Hagar: 01/07
Dorothy Stonestreet: 01/07
Anne Bridge: 01/09
Kenneth Moser: 01/13
Beverly Hall: 01/14
Eleanor Hardy: 01/14
Eric Renda: 01/14
Daniel Reblin: 01/15
Kim Philpot: 01/17
Carleton Porter: 01/18
Nicholas Uchenick: 01/19
Everett Miller: 01/23
Johannes Griesshammer: 01/24
Emmanuel Guerra Gunzel: 01/25
Peter Mulholland: 01/27
Daniel Philpot: 01/28
Carol Prouty: 01/28

Upcoming Event: Caught In the Crosshairs: The Intersection of Gun Violence and Public Health

December 28th, 2017

On Saturday, January 6th, the Congregational Church of Topsfield, the Mass Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, and the local social action group HUGS (Hands Up for Gun Safety) will be hosting a community event entitled: Caught in the Crosshairs: The Intersection of Gun Violence and Public Health

David Hemenway, Ph.D., Professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will provide the keynote address. Dr. Hemenway has written more than 100 journal entries on gun violence plus a book, Private Guns Public Health. He has also been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control as one of the twenty ‘most influential injury and violence professionals”.

At the conclusion of Dr. Hemenway’s address, lunch will be provided followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Jack McDevitt, Northeastern University and Dr. Janice Iwama, Univeristy of Massachusetts Boston who will present their latest research on the reduction of gun violence.

This event will be held in the Fellowship Hall of the Emerson Center, 9 E. Common Street, Topsfield from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. East Common Street.

Please come to learn more about this important issue and learn how you can have your voice heard to promote gun safety.

Mission and Outreach sponsors, Christmas Offering

December 18th, 2017

Romans: 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

December 2017

Dear Church Family,

Throughout the year, members of the Congregational Church of Topsfield reach out and give of their time, talent, and treasure in many ways. During the Christmas season, it has been a tradition in our church to offer members and friends the opportunity to make a special contribution. This year the Board of Mission and Outreach has selected Lazarus House in Lawrence for our Christmas offering:

Lazarus House is a gospel-based ministry and welcomes all in the name of God. They provide a continuum of care for homeless families and individuals encompassing, but not limited to: food, shelter, clothing, advocacy, education, work preparation, a listening ear, a welcoming heart and the restoration of dignity and self-respect to people who are poor and in dire need. For many in desperate need, the Lazarus House Emergency Shelter is both the last line of defense and the first ray of hope. Less than 1% of Lazarus House income is from government sources, so Lazarus House relies on the generosity of donors.

You can learn more about this ministry to the homeless at their web site

Lazarus House Ministries

We hope at this time of rejoicing in Jesus’ birth you are able to remember those who are less fortunate than we are today. Thank you in advance for your generous offering, which can be made using the Christmas envelope provided in your pledge packet or special envelopes in the church pews.

Wishing you every blessing of the Season,

The Board of Mission and Outreach

James Barnes, Kathy Hartmann, Pam Warren
Sue Blanchard, Cathy Szymanski, Claudia Worth,
John Burgess, Guido Voss

Lifebridge Needs You!

December 14th, 2017

Now that the turkey and stuffing are but memories, it’s time to sign up to help cook and serve dinner at Lifebridge, the homeless shelter in Salem that our church supports. We need 4-6 volunteers to prepare and serve dinner to about 100 clients on the 4th Friday of every month. You would pick up the food and menu/directions at the Emerson Center at 3:30 and return to Topsfield about 7:45. Come with your family and friends! Newcomers are especially welcome and would be paired with seasoned volunteers. It’s a fun and rewarding volunteer opportunity and the clients are so appreciative of our good home cooking. And the best part is that you don’t even have to do the dishes!

If you can help out on any of the following dates or have any questions, please contact Cathy Szymanski ( or 978-887-9244) or Sallie Bowling ( or 978-887-1059), co-coordinators.

December 22
January 26
February 23
March 23
April 27
May 25

Thank you in advance for your help with this important church ministry!
Cathy Szymanski on behalf of the Board of Missions and Outreach

Gifts of Love Program Update

December 6th, 2017

“Fulfill the wishes and dreams of local children this Christmas!”

Just 10 more !!!
10 more generous hearts needed to fulfill the wishes and dreams of local children this Christmas.

Our “Gifts of Love” program has 10 children whose gift requests are awaiting a donor.

Select a child on-line via Sign-up Genius link here. Or contact Pam Warren directly to sign-up or obtain further information. The tag for the child you selected will be available in the Fellowship Hall after the Sunday service.

Many thanks to the generous hearts who have already committed to providing gifts for 65 of the children in the program.

The Board of Mission and Outreach sponsors the annual “Gifts of Love” program. Please join us as we participate once again with the MA Department of Children and Families, Haverhill branch in their “Wonderfund” holiday gift collection. The Haverhill office provides services to over 2,000 children in our local communities including; Topsfield,Boxford,Ipswich,Rowley,Georgetown and other neighboring towns.

Please bring the gifts (wrapped and with tag attached), to the “Gifts of Love” Brunch Fellowship on Sunday, December 17th hosted by BOMO and the Board of Children and Families. We will celebrate your generosity and the fantastic Children’s Pageant performances.

A collection bin for Gifts of Love items is located in the church office.
Gifts must be received by Dec. 17th.

Thank you for bringing joy to the children in our community.

Pamela Warren, on behalf of the Board of Mission and Outreach.
Questions always welcomed. Contact Pam at 978.979.0366/

Topsfield Cupboard Update

December 1st, 2017

The Topsfield Cupboard food pantry is open on the 2nd and 4th  Saturdays from 8 am – 10 am each month. The following is a list of needed items:

Paper Napkins
Toilet Paper
Cooking Oil
Ladies Deodorant
Pasta Sauce (small Jars)
Juice (no sugar especially)
Salad Dressing
Salt Free Items
Healthy Soups (low salt, low fat)

The items can be dropped off in the containers provided in the
Meeting house narthex or in the Emerson Center.

We appreciate all the contributions!

Thank you!


Nominating Committee Seeking New Members for all CCoT Boards

November 29th, 2017

We Need your Talents

Dear CCoT Members,
The Nominating Committee has been working behind the scenes trying to fill spots on our Boards that help the church run! We’re looking for some new folks to fill in those spots that are open for 2018. We know everyone’s got commitments to family, other organizations, sports, kids, etc. but we also know that serving in church leadership is a great way to get to know people. And we have fun together on every second Wednesday of the month!
We’re seeking new members for all CCoT Boards.

There are five Boards of the church: Board of Deacons, Board of Trustees, Board of Mission & Outreach, Board of Children & Youth, and Board of Community & Communications.  Boards consist of a minimum of 7 and maximum of 12 church members, who are elected at the Annual Meeting for 3 years terms. Boards meet on the second Wednesday of every month except in July and August. For more information about each Board, please see  The Boards assure that the important work of our church gets done.

All 5 Boards currently have openings, and we’re hoping that you volunteer to join one. The commitment is flexible with regard to your schedule. There are plenty of opportunities on each board to help out when you can. Many hands make light work!

If you are interested in serving on a Board, please contact any of the following folks for more information:

Sheryl Knutsen, Chair, Nominating Committee:
Charlie Ames, member, Nominating Committee:
Carolyn Nenart, member, Nominating Committee:
Mike Ierardi, Chair, Board of Deacons:
Elizabeth Mulholland, Chair, Board of Trustees:
Jim Barnes, Chair, Board of Mission and Outreach:
Alison Miller, Chair, Board of Children and Youth:
Susan Warner, Chair, Board of Community and Communications:

December Birthday Listing

November 28th, 2017

Eric Gillberg:     12/03

Gerrie Bunker:     12/05

Jackson, Bridge:     12/07

Jill Wheeler:     12/09

Robert Barrett:     12/10

Charles Wilkinson:     12/11

Sara Renda:      12/12

Chelsey Bergsten:     12/13

Stuart Morrell:     12/13

Jeff Nenart:     12/13

Martin Riekert:     12/13

Bruce Daniels:     12/14

Brandon Read:     12/15

Marlena Voss:     12/17

Michael Miller:     12/19

Pam Warren:     12/20

Daniel Cassiday:     12/21

MJ Riekert:     12/21

Gregor Smith:     12/23

Elizabeth Jelinek:     12/27

Claudia Worth:     12/28

James Bunker:     12/29

Leah Cass:     12/29

Jack Bridge:     12/30